The Roberts are getting some babies!
Ken and I have always had a heart to adopt children, and as the Lord continued to pull on our heart strings, he lead us to foster care.
To be really honest, I'm not sure how or why or when we decided to fully take the plunge and do all of this. I guess it's just the Lord continually walking with us, and leading us through the whole process that brought us where we are today.
Back in July, a friend of ours, whom I've talked about adoption with many times, had asked us if we had ever considered foster care.
I remember mentioning it to Ken, and we both sort of felt... "eh" about it.
You see, I guess I've never seen an accurate portrayal of foster parents in real life. I hadn't really met anyone who had/has foster children in their life. Growing up, and even in the world we live in today, it wasn't really... talked about... ever.
One day, Ken was on the computer and I was most likely cleaning
(or maybe eating cake or scrolling twitter, anyways same difference).
He asked, "Did you know there's close to 20,000 kids in foster care here in Arizona?"
He followed that by saying, "Kids are literally sleeping in office spaces here because there aren't enough beds to house them all, and a lot of these children are in group homes worked by a staff that rotates every 8 hours."
Something sort of just took the life out of me as I listened to these real statistics...of real kids...
all happening in my own backyard.
He said, "Do you want to go to an orientation to just see what it's all about? I mean, it can't hurt right?"
I excitedly agreed, and two days later we showed up to an 8am class at a random place here in Arizona.
After listening to the statistics, how fostering worked, and thinking about what it would look like if we took in some kids, Ken and I both knew that we had to do it.
You see, it's not like you can just sign up, and you get a kid.
It's actually a lot of hard work, homework, paper work, background checks, extensive interviews, inspections, etc. (the list could really keep going) to be licensed to foster.
So, for the past couple months, Ken and I have been doing just that.
After the orientation, like I said, we were set on it.
We signed ourselves up with a Christian agency (which is amazing by the way!) and we found ourselves sitting in our first of many 3 hour classes two weeks later.
These classes were 3 hrs long, every Tuesday night, for 11 weeks (yes, almost three months!).
We are in the process to be licensed (here very shortly!!) for all ages: newborns to 17 years old.
Initially, we will take placements from newborns to 1 year olds.
Somewhere down the road, our hope is to take in pregnant teens or teens in foster care with their own little babies.
My home office, which was our second bedroom, has now been turned into a nursery, and my office and product now fill up my bedroom....
and I wouldn't have it any other way.
On the day our license goes through, we could receive a call for a child to come stay with us, also called a placement (and we've heard that often times that's the case!).
We could get a call at three in the morning or any other time of day or night, and if we say yes and DCS (Department of Child Safety, formerly CPS) chooses us, we could have the baby within the hour.
But. We are so ready.
Ken and I both have a huge burden for the children here in Arizona who need love and nurturing.
As I write this post, I choke back tears thinking about all the children who have been abused or neglected and it makes my heart sick.
We are so quick to fight for abandoned, abused or mistreated animals... but what about these little lives that have no home, and often times no hope?
I write about this, yes to keep you up to date, but secondly, to make you aware of this epidemic that I don't really hear many people, especially Christians, talk about.
It's a harsh reality, and something that Ken and I both face, as we hear even Christian men and women talk about these children like they are somehow less than a biological or "real"/"your own" child. Often they talk about it in a way that almost implies how it will be a huge negative interruption to our "perfect little lives".
I wish more people were educated on fostering children, and I truly wish that the church would step up and give these amazing kids a good home.
That's all they want.
I've held drug exposed babies and met multiple children and teens in foster care... they aren't scary.
They aren't unlovable.
It's quite the opposite.
They need hope and dignity restored in them, and for someone to tell them they are a person worth loving.
They need you, they need us.
So with that being said, I want to encourage you to just look into it.
Be open to it.
We thought "nah, that's not for us" when we first heard of it... but we were open, and God changed our hearts rapidly before we could ever think about not doing it.
It was amazing.
If you pray, you can be praying for us as we hopefully start getting placements next month.
We are full of anticipation as we have already seen God move in our hearts and lives through all of this.
We know He will continue to do so as the journey continues.
We know it won't be easy, but experiencing God's love being poured out in and through us will be so worth it, even with the sleepless nights, tired eyes, and spit up stains... am I right?